Sharing Joy

OSU-Cascades students jump on the joy wagon

ASCC shares the joyIn the Associated Students of Cascades Campus office, student body president Molly Svendsen offered an OSU-Cascades pint glass stuffed with candy, a pen and an orange "Share Joy" sticker to a student. The student didn't win the glass or earn it. The gift was just for fun.

Doing something nice for someone else is at the heart of the Bend Joy Project — a creative campaign spearheaded by Noelle Fredland, marketing director for the Old Mill District, and her colleagues. Noticing a general grumpiness around town, Noelle decided a couple months of promoting kind words, generous actions and overall gratitude would be a good way to remind Bend of its reputation for being a welcoming community.

Since January, the Bend Joy Project has been helping Bend residents though a tough winter of record snowfall. Bright orange banners around town promote joy, kindness, creativity and thoughtfulness. The Bend Joy Project produced good deed cards people can share that offer prompts like “Make a strange smile today,” “Find a way to play today,” and “Volunteer to walk a friend’s dog or help out at a shelter.” People are using social media to share their experience.

“When I first heard about Bend Joy Project, I couldn't believe this beautiful idea was real,” said Molly. “I feel like this is exactly what we needed, not just as students but as Central Oregonians and as human beings. It is seriously the happiest project and one that is so simple for people to get involved with.”

Molly and other OSU-Cascades students recently invited neighbors from nearby retirement communities over for coffee and socializing in the new dining hall.

“Imagine if beyond this marketing campaign, this became a way we all lived our lives — now that would be incredible,” said Molly.

Learn more at Bend Joy Project